We’re coming up on a full year of hosting PracticeLink Career Advancement Workshops and Job Fairs for physicians, NPs and PAs nationwide. That year represents 12 cities of connecting providers and employers, and educating physicians about the job-search process. Our free Workshop focuses on our 10-step guide for physicians, "When to Do What In Your Job Search." Topics include CV and interview tips, conducting on-site interviews and negotiating your contract. A panel of in-house physician recruiters at each event is also available to answer any of your other questions, such as about relocation, immigration and other issues important to your job search.At our recent events, I’ve listened closely to the advice given about employment contracts. Here are some tips I’ve picked up.
When you receive your much-anticipated offer, it is important to keep important deadlines in mind. Ask your recruiter about the expected time frame for you to review and accept or decline the offer. (Be aware, too, of the time needed to secure a state license before you start practice.)Practice professional etiquette - you do not want to leave an employer waiting for an extended period of time while you weigh your other options. Remember, your goal is to start a new practice. Evaluate your options, yes, but don’t be afraid to say yes to a job that meets most of you and your family’s needs and wants.
Make sure your understanding of your contract is not limited to what an attorney or recruiter explains to you. You’re the one who will need to fulfill the contract; it’s crucial that you understand your obligations. Make notes on anything that you don’t understand or on which you need clarification. Don’t hesitate to ask your in-house recruiter for help. By reading your contract in depth, you’ll be able to ask informed questions and focus on the details.
Many physicians find that working with an attorney who specializes in health care - or even more specifically, physician contracts, is beneficial. Try to negotiate a flat rate for their review, and keep them focused on areas in the contract that are negotiable. Plan on doing any negotiating with the employer yourself.
If you are working with an in-house recruiter - someone employed by the hospital, clinic or practice - then you’ve got a priceless resource for your questions. Ask them which sections of the contract are negotiable. Ask them to explain the compensation structure. Take thorough notes, and run your thoughts by your attorney.
If you haven’t been to one of our Career Advancement Workshops and Job Fairs yet, please take a moment to visit PracticeLink.com/JobFair to find an upcoming event in your area.
I also invite you to register at PracticeLink.com/Physicians to receive notices of our in-person events and our new helpful webinars for physicians, in addition to regular updates of newly posted jobs in your specialty.
Brian Brown is the manager of PracticeLink’s Physician Relations department. Call the team for free, personal job-search help at (800) 776-8383.